• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

False notions of Truth

Status
Not open for further replies.

auh

New member
Here is a verse from Kathopanishad -
अशब्दमस्पर्शमरूपमव्ययं
तथाऽरसंनित्यमगन्धवच्चयत्।
अनाद्यनन्तंमहतःपरंध्रुवं
निचाय्यतन्मृत्युमुखात्प्रमुच्यते


‘ashabdam-asparsham-arupam-avyayam' means that the reality or truth is soundless, touch-less, formless, endless

‘arasam-nityam-agandham-anaadyantam-mahatam-paramdhruvam' means it is tasteless, always ever present, odorless, has no beginning or ending, changeless with respect to space and time.

How can we humans living in a three dimensional space and Time, endowed with only sensory perceptions of touch, smell, taste,hearing and sight can possibly fathom the meaning in the above verse? We can at best try to imagine but false notions have a way of creeping in via social, cultural and religious inculcation.
How can one come to the conclusion that it even exists? For all our will conjectures, it might well be a-sambhava as well.

:)
 

auh

New member
All - If anyone thought I am acting superior, my apologies. I try to be hard on issues, insist on logic, reason and some scholarship if you take strong positions. I would like to think I am easy on people provided they come across a genuine to me.
People tend to think that because you do not offer any logical explanations. Either that or you do not accept that it is a belief system. Somewhere, in the middle of a debate you seem to think that concepts such as "brahmam", "absolute truth" etc are things that only quantum physicists or those who have an understanding of complex theories could only grasp onto. Did the rishis who knew the vedas knew about such things? Do you have any evidence they they had such knowledge? So then onwards, you tend to display condescension towards those who, you seem to think, lack the understanding (in your opinion).

It only seems that you resort to such discrimination, either because of your inability to substantiate your position, or that you do not wish to concede to the other position and look for an escape route.

Let us get back to the topic, please.
Yes, about the false notions about an equally unstable thing called "truth"
 

auh

New member
Post #32: I could not have put the following succinctly - "The logical proof of the statement, "There exists an absolute truth," is almost trivial in its simplicity. Suppose we assert the negation of the statement, that is, that there is no such thing as absolute truth. By making that assertion, we claim that the sentence "There exists no absolute truth" is absolutely true. The statement is self-contradictory, so its negation, "There exists an absolute truth," is true."
The above is an example of a non-existent entity. If we were to define what "absolute truth" is, the logical proof becomes complex.

Absolute truth is an entity that cannot be proved to exist. Simply because the world does not work on certainity. We can only conclude that the statement about absolute truth is true. We cannot use this statement to prove or disprove anything.

The correct answer about whether an absolute truth exists or not would be "I dont know".
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
auhji, you are rocking. Though a little stretched, your arguments are on the right lines. Hope tksji would answer them at the same plane. Thanks.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
The above is an example of a non-existent entity. If we were to define what "absolute truth" is, the logical proof becomes complex.

Absolute truth is an entity that cannot be proved to exist. Simply because the world does not work on certainity. We can only conclude that the statement about absolute truth is true. We cannot use this statement to prove or disprove anything.

The correct answer about whether an absolute truth exists or not would be "I dont know".

You are correct, but it leads us no where. In real world we are expected to know certain things. It is not a philosophical question. So the seemingly right answer "I dont know" will lead one to trouble. You literally can not survive in the real world with that truthful answer. So in the real physical world we are supposed to be "expert" in certain field. And we know it all.

Of course then there are some who will know everything about everything.
 

tks

Well-known member
Truth is the entity that is yet to be proved.

Let us assume that the guy labelled as "SAI" is a person with common sense "PCS". The conversation continues...

PCS: (after polishing of the Idli and Sambhar) So do you think that there is an entity called truth that is agreed upon by all?

PP: (signalling to the waiter for a coffee): Yes, of course. How ridiculous of you not to know it. But then, just as you cannot understand physics and mathematics, you would not be able to understand the "truth".

PCS: Well, you could give it a try instead of labelling me...

PP: For that you have to have sraddha, understand what is in the vedas... but before that you have a find a real guru who knows the truth.

PCS : So how do we know that the guru knows the truth? There are a lot of people who claim that they are the ultimate spiritual guide.

PP: The real seeker with sraddha will "know" his guru. You do not know imaginary number and I do not think that you know that the "microscopic world is described by pure potentialities of events in an infinite dimensional space". Hence, by logical deduction, you are ill equipped to "know" even a guru, let alone the truth.

PCS : It seems that this is something that you only seem to understand but unable to explain. Or this could be something that is your belief and an unproven statement.

PP: How dare you question my knowledge? "I" am telling you that you are not eligible to know this because of your sraddha...

PCS: (interrupting him) You know, my next door uncle also behaves the same way you do. He says that there are invisible people around him. Strange creatures that only he could see and hear. It seems that they whisper instructions to him. He calls them "revelations". He says that we have to have a separate "power" to see what he sees. The family had him checked and found that he was suffering from some sort of schizophrenia or the like. Net result - he is confined to a room now, as he was found to exhibt violent behaviours (but perfectly justifiable to him) and was found dangerous to those around him.

PP: (clearly uncomfortable now) Well, these are not comparison. I am saying that there is something called absolute truth that could only be figured out by those who have sraddha and have found a true guru who know the absolute truth. You cannot call that an equal with a psychological disorder!

PCS: Ok, so do you have any scientific proof that it actually exists? Is it something that can be studied and attained through an objective method? Do all the people who seek the truth agree on its characteristics? Is it similar to physics or mathematics that can be derived through equations? You seem to test my knowledge on subjects that apparently have no correlation with the original query.

PP: <<silence>>

PCS : (signalling to the waiter) bill please
Waiter : Sir, the bill was paid a while ago by the other person before he left. He even paid for an additional coffee for you. Is everything alright ? We do not know why you were having imaginary conversation both speaking as you and the other person

SAI/PCS: I am with common Sense - How dare you mock me? You are being condescending towards me.. you ..x@#@

Waiter: Sorry Sir - Did not mean to upset you, but you were talking about some next door uncle being confined.. Sir it may run in your family - Manager says he knows a good doctor who visits our canteen here ..

SAI/PCS: @3%^&%$ @#%$^&^ (muttering some profanity in Tamil and leaves)


====== Curtain closes =============== end of the play =========================
 

tks

Well-known member
How can one come to the conclusion that it even exists? For all our will conjectures, it might well be a-sambhava as well.

:)
Question for you: Please define what is existence for you and show one thing that you think exists and explain how you reached conclusion that the said thing exists.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Question for you: Please define what is existence for you and show one thing that you think exists and explain how you reached conclusion that the said thing exists.
I know the question was for Auhji, but i still wanted to express my opinion about it.

All the knowledge we have is borrowed. Nothing we know is original. The knowledge exists and we know a slice of it over a period of time.
For example:
She believes that ghosts really do exist.

I do not believe in ghosts so they do not exist.
The english language is ever evolving and words are being added every day, and sometimes the language is still not able to express our thoughts.
Fortunately we have Dictionaries, and wikipedia to fall back on.
All Existence is purely temporary and relative.
 
Last edited:

tks

Well-known member
People tend to think that because you do not offer any logical explanations. Either that or you do not accept that it is a belief system. Somewhere, in the middle of a debate you seem to think that concepts such as "brahmam", "absolute truth" etc are things that only quantum physicists or those who have an understanding of complex theories could only grasp onto. Did the rishis who knew the vedas knew about such things? Do you have any evidence they they had such knowledge? So then onwards, you tend to display condescension towards those who, you seem to think, lack the understanding (in your opinion).

It only seems that you resort to such discrimination, either because of your inability to substantiate your position, or that you do not wish to concede to the other position and look for an escape route.

Yes, about the false notions about an equally unstable thing called "truth"
Sri auh,


Your 'conclusions' about what I think or what people think are not relevant to the discussion here. If you think I am condescending, then please do not engage with my posts here. I have only been on message so far and have not made any comments about you other than express my inability to continue discussions with you. Providing a 'broken record' response without reading what is offered is easy but no response will satisfy you.

I gave metaphors from high school mathematics and laymen level science because they attempt to describe reality at a fundamental level. Please answer.

1. Do you think imaginary numbers exist (imaginary number being square root of -1)?
2. We live in 3 dimensional space. How do you reconcile the notions of infinite dimensional constructs and 'laws' that work there?



It is hard to have a discussion if you confuse between a metaphor used to explain a point and the point itself. That is illogical. I did not say you need to know mathematics and science to understand the false notions of Truth that I was beginning to describe.

I started with a line "Even when absolute Truth is possibly most natural to know it eludes a person due to false notions that a person has".
Within ignorance it is not possible to know this 'absolute Truth'. Here ignorance has a specific technical definition and not a condescending comment.

We cannot construct an object that you one touch and feel that is in a higher dimensional space than three. But if one concludes higher dimensional space (greater than 3) does not exist because one cannot touch and feel an object in that space, means there cannot be further discussions within their thinking.


What is possible is to discuss here are the false notions only. These false notions are not absolute false notions.

Please note that in the subject title I used the word False and Truth in the same line. That should give you a hint what discussion I am having.

If you are stuck on the notion that Truth does not exist etc, I think you must first define what does not exist. After all the word means something to you. Then you must be able to communicate what you are proclaiming does not exist.

3. Define what Truth is to you

4. Take any example in any field and show what a proof that is satisfactory to you? Mention specifically what constitutes assumption or starting point, what operations are allowed for starters and show the proof by applying starting assumption to reach a conclusion by successive application of operators. The describe what is proved.


One general comment.

The posts I initiate or share is not to prove who is logical and who is not. I don't know any of you other than what you have shared. I have no intention to engage in such discussions and so I will not be responding further. Because I know engagement will degenerate to this I really did not want to have engagement with you.

If you want to play victim and do not accept my statement of intent that I respect all people I come across (though I may not agree with some people's points or what they stand for) then you should not enter into discussions with me. If you cannot take the heat, don't enter the kitchen, please.

My reason for posting blogs here is simple. This forum is my Quadrant 4 time (possibly pleasurable, not connected to my life mission and is not urgent). In return, I feel that I must periodically contribute some content to keep the forum alive. I do not care how these posts are taken by others because I am not here to assert anything about anyone. If there is serious intent and commitment to engage (call it shradha if you will) then I will spend time and engage in discussion and share whatever little I know. If there is something to learn it is even better.

You have to now answer the questions fully in this post and others. If you dont want to engage further that is fine.

All the best .. Let us talk about weather and places we want to visit in another thread another time :)
 

tks

Well-known member
The above is an example of a non-existent entity. If we were to define what "absolute truth" is, the logical proof becomes complex.

Absolute truth is an entity that cannot be proved to exist. Simply because the world does not work on certainity. We can only conclude that the statement about absolute truth is true. We cannot use this statement to prove or disprove anything.

The correct answer about whether an absolute truth exists or not would be "I dont know".
Anyone unable to follow reasons in Post #32 (which does not require advanced degrees) does not understand how mathematical proofs are constructed. The following is a valid method.

"Use of reductio ad absurdum , in which the statement to be proved is denied as a premise, and then that premise is shown to lead to a contradiction. When it can be demonstrated that the negation of a statement leads to a contradiction, then the original statement is proved true."
 

auh

New member
Question for you: Please define what is existence for you and show one thing that you think exists and explain how you reached conclusion that the said thing exists.
Existence is the state that is experienced through the sensory perceptions.
 

auh

New member
Anyone unable to follow reasons in Post #32 (which does not require advanced degrees) does not understand how mathematical proofs are constructed. The following is a valid method.

"Use of reductio ad absurdum , in which the statement to be proved is denied as a premise, and then that premise is shown to lead to a contradiction. When it can be demonstrated that the negation of a statement leads to a contradiction, then the original statement is proved true."
I did not refute the logic. Had you cared to observe, I only said that the statement does not serve any purpose outside the realm of logic.
 

auh

New member
Sri auh,
Your 'conclusions' about what I think or what people think are not relevant to the discussion here. If you think I am condescending, then please do not engage with my posts here. I have only been on message so far and have not made any comments about you other than express my inability to continue discussions with you. Providing a 'broken record' response without reading what is offered is easy but no response will satisfy you.
Shri tks, you made a general statement clarifying your stand and I offered a viewpoint. You can safely go over it without being disturbed.

I gave metaphors from high school mathematics and laymen level science because they attempt to describe reality at a fundamental level. Please answer.

1. Do you think imaginary numbers exist (imaginary number being square root of -1)?
2. We live in 3 dimensional space. How do you reconcile the notions of infinite dimensional constructs and 'laws' that work there?
Please define, in the real world, what is "absolute truth" instead of quizzing about metaphors.

It is hard to have a discussion if you confuse between a metaphor used to explain a point and the point itself. That is illogical. I did not say you need to know mathematics and science to understand the false notions of Truth that I was beginning to describe.
To differentiate between a false notion and a true notion, you have to have a known entity. Is this entity "absolute truth" a known entity?

All the best .. Let us talk about weather and places we want to visit in another thread another time :)
Sure... if the doctor allows you out of the room !!!

:)
 

tks

Well-known member
I did not refute the logic. Had you cared to observe, I only said that the statement does not serve any purpose outside the realm of logic.
This Reminds me of a saying :)

குப்புற விழுந்தாகி விட்டது – ஆனால் மீசையில் மண் ஒட்டவில்லை !!

Usefulness and existence are orthogonal concepts. If usefulness is a metric - all these exchanges have served for good humor :)
 

tks

Well-known member
Getting back on track ...

The set of posts I intended to go over was about false notions regarding various 'schools of thoughts'. The false notions discussed are within the context of usage of words and possible notions loosely gathered from our knowledge scriptures.

Opening post had this line "Even when absolute Truth is possibly most natural to know it eludes a person due to false notions that a person has". Within ignorance (avidya) we are all caught up in, it is not possible to know this 'absolute Truth'. Therefore this thread is not about discussions of 'absolute truth' which is not possible. However, it is possible to overcome ignorance and the first step is a commitment to knowing truth in our context of space and time.

When someone demands proof even if they are not used to understanding what a proof entails, it demonstrates our human capacity to want to know the truth. When this commitment is associated with other characteristics such as Shraddha then it is possible to think and get past false notions we hold about whatever we have heard from our scriptures.

The teachings found in our knowledge scriptures (Upanishads, B.Gita, Brahma Sutra) are truly universal in scope and applicable to all beings. Loose usage, lack of qualified teachers (opening post has few of the characteristics of a qualified teacher in my view), superstitions, deification of teachers of the past leading to not questioning what they taught etc are stumbling blocks.

It is easy to go around saying 'shivoham' and अहं ब्रह्म अस्मि (Aham Bramhāsmi) without reflecting on what that statement means.

For example, if Brahman indeed is not expressible in words or imagined by any thoughts - repeating the saying would mean
"I am (the entity) that cannot be expressed in words and imagined by any thought"
Does the above statement make any sense ? What does it even convey?


More later ..
 

auh

New member
This Reminds me of a saying :)

குப்புற விழுந்தாகி விட்டது – ஆனால் மீசையில் மண் ஒட்டவில்லை !!

Usefulness and existence are orthogonal concepts. If usefulness is a metric - all these exchanges have served for good humor :)
It is nice to see that you are humoured, though for no reason at all !

My observation still stands - 'the statement about absolute truth does not serve any purpose in reality'. Maybe you are afraid to state it and hence diverting the issue.

Knowing the truth, realizing, qualified teacher, etc., are all useless notions to hold, imo.

Besides, you are yet to define what 'absolute truth' is...
 

tks

Well-known member
---- moving on ---

The purpose of bringing up these misconception is to share what can make one think. With some, it could create interest to pursue the subject matter in a formal setting with properly qualified teachers.

I will continue to engage in responding to questions but my minimal expectation at this point is that any questions that come up has been made after expending effort to understand what is already stated, sometimes more than once. Also, I would like to stay within the scope of what this thread is about (as detailed in the opening two posts).

One of the next misconception I want to now discuss is the 'loose' use of a Mahavakya which occurs in Chandhogya Upanishad (Chapter 6)

Let me describe a context where this Mahavakya occurs since it will be easier to discuss false notions and interpretation by various schools of thoughts later. There is a difference between wrong notions and understanding within a school of thought. Then there are wrong interpretation within the school of thought itself. So far the examples have been in the former case.

The specific line where this Mahavakya occures is "सर्वं तत्सत्यꣳ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो इति भूय एव"

The Mahavakya is 'Tatvamasi' is said to a student called Svetakethu.

A conversation supposedly took place when Svetaketu completed his studies from age 12 to 24 in a Gurukula setting and was feeling arrogant having mastered all the Vedas he was taught.

His father asked Svetaketu (and I am summarizing) - "Do you know that knowledge by which every other knowledge is known'.
Sveteketu did not know that such a knowledge even could exist and then the remaining conversation becomes the basis of teachings in this Upanishad.

The teaching sort of culminates in this Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi - namely 'You are That'

How is it that the above Mahavakya is connected to the knowledge by which every other knowledge is known (Yes, every other knowledge will include knowledge about infinite dimensional space and imaginary numbers as well :) )

The intent of this thread is not to go into the teaching itself for which one must seek a qualified person in a teaching role.

You are that - could mean 'You are that Isvara (that you have been seeking)' I dont want to get into technically precise language here.

If Isvara is taken as all knowing, all powerful entity, how do we even reconcile the notion that I , the limited individual same as Isvara.

This Mahavakya is expressed an equation.

I am an entity is one side of the equation seemingly subject to space and time limitations.
On the other side of the equation is that reality which is unaffected by time and space.

How can an equation have dissimilar items.

We cannot equate an item that is of weight with that of length because dimensional nature of entities on both sides must match.

Even in Sanskrit grammar there is this notion of 'सामानाधिकरण्यम्'
which means in a sentence constructs appositional or syntactic relationship must be there with agreement in gender, number, etc.
With such a careful attention to details built into the very grammar how is it possible for a Mahavakya to contain two items of dissimilar nature at a fundamental level be equated.

Without understanding this basic issue how can we consider that we can relate to this Mahavakya.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Dear TKS ji,

Kindly transliterate the Sanskrit terminologies used for the benefit of those who might not know Sanskrit.

I have transliterated the terminologies used by you in the above post..but I hope you transliterate future posts so that members too can learn new terms.

सर्वं तत्सत्यꣳ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो इति भूय एव"



sarvam tatsatya AtmA tatvamasi svetaketo iti bhuya eva.



सामानाधिकरण्यम्'


sAmAnAdhikaraNyam.




 

auh

New member
The moment somebody opens their mouth about absolute truth, they enter into a world of controversy. Post #57 is a good example.

This is just to point out an example of a false notion about "false notions of truth"

:)
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Brahman when has the power of Maya is called Eshwara or Saguna Brahman.
The Upanishads make it crystal clear that before creation there was only Brahman.
Three states of Brahman are
Eswara – the Causal form
Hiranyagarbha – the Subtle form
Virat – the Gross form.

As Chinmaya says “Vedanta is a subjective science” – most interpretations and concepts depend on the seeker alone.

The apparent form of Brahman (as Eswara) is the result of Avidya or Ignorance. A Form is attributed to Brahman only, to serve the needs of the Embodied Souls during the period of the embodiment.

In that respect, it is confusing to introduce Mahavakya and Eswara in this discussion.
Mahavakya, in my opinion, is only talking about Brahman and not Eswara.


Some help from http://www.saibaba.ws/vahini/jnanavahini/jnanavahini.htm
Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi - namely 'You are That'. The "That" is Brahman and not Eswara.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Follow Tamil Brahmins on Social Media

Top